Esther Williams Collection, Vol. 1

 

Bathy Beauty (1944)      Easy to Wed (1946)     On An Island With You (1948)

 

      Neptune's Daughter (1949)      Dangerous When Wet (1953)
 

Back cover description: Laughs, romance, music--just add water! Get into the swim of Hollywood's Golden Era with musical number outtakes, classic shorts, cartoons, and more. Bathing Beauty: a big splash in her first starring role: Williams is a teacher at a women's college--and wacky Red Skelton enrolls to be near her. An astonishing flames-and-fountains aquatic finale. Easy to Wed: A spiffy remake of the screwball classic Libeled Lady, with Esther as the lady libeled. Van Johnson, Keenan Wynn, and Lucille Ball round out a funny four-sided love triangle. On an Island with You: Paradise for musical-comedy fans! Esther (in a series of swimsuits and sarongs) plays a film star on a tropical location shoot. With Ricardo Montalban, Cyd Charisse, and Jimmy Durante. Neptune's Daughter: The polo team's in town and so is the fun for Esther, Ricardo Montalban, Red Skelton, and Betty Garrett. Includes Frank Loesser songs and one of Esther's greatest splash-happy finales. Dangerous When Wet: Cartoon legends Tom and Jerry join Esther in the light-hearted extravaganza about a girl who swims the English Channel--and meets a dashing Frenchman (Fernando Lamas).

 


Titles

 

 


 

Bathing Beauty
Stars Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbone, Bill Goodwin, Jean Porter
Directors: George Sidney
Theatrical Release Date: July 1944
Synopsis - Songwriter Steve Elliott is about to marry Caroline Brooks. A strange woman who's been paid by Steve's agent to say she's his wife interrupts the ceremony. An angry Caroline gets her old job back teaching at a girl's college. Determined to win her back, Steve enrolls in the school to become its only male student.

Easy to Wed
Stars Van Johnson, Esther Williams, Lucille Ball, Keenan Wynn, Cecil Kellaway
Directors: Edward Buzzell
Theatrical Release Date: July 25, 1946
Synopsis - The "Morning Star" is in problems: J.B. Allenbury, rich and mighty, will sue them on 2 million dollars for an article which says that his daughter is nymphomaniac and after married men. Reporter Bill Chandler is sent after Connie to prove that the story was true. The only problem is that he's not married... yet.

On An Island with You
Stars Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante, Cyd Charisse
Directors: Richard Thorpe
Theatrical Release Date: May 3, 1948
Synopsis - A young navy lieutenant is brought in as techninical adviser on a song-dance-and-swim film being made by screen star Rosalind Reynolds. Having once done a number with her - and been kissed at the end - at a Forces show, the young lad somehow believes she should be his girl. Her boyfriend - and fellow co-star - is just one of those disagreeing.

Neptune's Daughter
Stars Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, Keenan Wynn
Directors: Edward Buzzell
Theatrical Release Date: June 1949
Synopsis - Scatterbrained Betty Barrett mistakes masseur Jack Spratt for Jose O'Rourke, the captain of the South American polo team. Spratt goes along with the charade, but the situation becomes more complicated when they fall in love. Meanwhile, Betty's sensible older sister Eve fears Betty's heart will be broken when Jose returns to South America. She arranges to meet with the real O'Rourke and love soon blossoms between them as well.

Dangerous When Wet
Stars Esther Williams, Fernando Lamas, Jack Carson, Charlotte Greenwood, Denise Darcel
Directors: Charles Walters
Theatrical Release Date: July 3, 1953
Plot Outline - A young woman enters a contest to be the first to swim the English Channel.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1944 - 1953

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner (5-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Time: 1:41:09 + 1:50:00 + 1:47:28 + 1:32:57 + 1:35:21
Bitrate:

Bathing Beauty

Bitrate:

Easy to Wed

Bitrate:

On An Island With You

Bitrate:

Neptune's Daughter

Bitrate:

Dangerous When  Wet

Audio English (1.0 stereo)
Subtitles English, English (hoh), none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

  • Bathing Beauty (1944)
     Robert Osborne hosts TCM's "Private Screenings with Esther Williams"
     Oscar-nominated short "Main Street Today"
     Academy Award-winning cartoon "Mouse Trouble"
     Theatrical trailer
    Easy to Wed (1946)
     Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "Sure Cures"
     Classic cartoon "The Unwelcome Guest"
     Theatrical trailer
    On An Island with You (1948)
     Vintage Romance of Celluloid series short "Personalities"
     Classic cartoon "The Bear and the Hare"
     Theatrical trailer
    Neptune's Daughter (1949)
     Outtake musical number "I Want My Memory Back" Esther Williams sequence from 1951's Callaway Went Thataway
     Oscar-nominated Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "Water Trix"
     Oscar-nominated cartoon "Hatch Up Your Troubles"
     Promotional radio interviews with Esther Williams
     Theatrical trailer
    Dangerous When Wet (1953)
     Outtake musical number "C'est la Guerre"
     Audio-only bonus: Johnny Mercer demo recordings of "Fifi," "I Got Out of  Bed on the Right Side," and "I Like Men"
     Promotional radio interview with Esther Williams
     Pete Smith Specialty comedy short "This Is a Living?"
     Classic cartoon "The Cat and the Mermouse"
     Esther Williams musicals trailer gallery


DVD Release Date: July 17th, 2007

Custom three-tiered digipak (see image above)
Chapters: Respectively - 27, 29, 31, 26 + 26

 

Comments:

The 5 main features of this boxset are housed in a three-tiered digipak case inside a cardboard box (see image above) and they are not sold separately at this time. All 5 DVDs are dual-layered, progressively transferred and coded for Regions 1,2,3, and 4 in the NTSC standard. Bitrates are on the low side. Audio is original mono but very clear and consistent and there are optional English (or English 'hard of hearing') subtitles. There are no commentaries but the discs contain a lot of supplemental information although very little of it directly pertains to Esther Williams or her films.

I should state that I have never seen any of these films previously and have very little idea about how well the colors are represented in comparison to original theatrical viewing but, to me Easy to Wed looked a bit faded.

Overall I would say that I am happy with most of the transfers but Easy to Wed has more digital artifacts than I am used to from Warner. On An Island... and Dangerous When Wet look quite strong - excellent detail.  Bathing Beauty is a notch below standard and Neptune's Daughter looks about average fare. The mono tracks all sounded quite acceptable. Contrast and detail are about at Warner's usual high standard for classic films. The screen caps selected below give a strong indication of the image quality.

I won't get into specifics about some of the less relevant extras that include one excellent cartoon (2 X Tom and Jerry, 2 X Barney Bear etc.) per disc, a trailer for each, three Pete Smith comedy (and other) shorts, outtakes and also audio interviews (2 with Esther Williams!) and recordings (Johnny Mercer). On top of all that, on Bathing Beauty, Robert Osborne hosts an, almost 50 minute, interview with Esther. She is quite honest and there are some clips from her films. 

If you are, at all, into the films of this cutesy, occasionally lavish genre then I can see no reason not to pick up Esther Williams Collection, Vol. 1. It works out to about $7/film and Warner appear to have done their best in the presentations. I admit that even I was starting to enjoy Esther William, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban and the rhythms of Xavier Cugat. Sure they are formulaic, but they radiate innocence and the nostalgia value is through the roof. Wholesome entertaining stuff!  
 

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus


Supplements:


Screen Captures

Bathing Beauty


Stars Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbone, Bill Goodwin and Jean Porter


Directors: George Sidney


Theatrical Release June 27th, 1944

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

Easy to Wed


Stars Van Johnson, Esther Williams, Lucille Ball and Keenan Wynn


Directors: Charles Walters


Theatrical Release Date: July 11th, 1946

 

 


 

 

Screen Captures

 

On  An Island With You


Stars Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante, Cyd Charisse and Xavier Cugat


Directors: Richard Thorpe


Theatrical Release Date: May 3rd, 1948

 

 


 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

Neptune's Daughter


Stars Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, Keenan Wynnand Xavier Cugat


Directors: Edward Buzzell


Theatrical Release Date: June 1949

 

 

 

 


 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

Dangerous When Wet


Stars Esther Williams, Fernando Lamas, Jack Carson, Charlotte Greenwood, Denise Darcel


Directors: Charles Walters


Theatrical Release Date: June 18th, 1953

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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